Finicky stitches fashion brand in collaboration with one of Nigeria’s fast-rising artist, Enifo Agodo, found a common ground to showcase their different talents in fashion and art. At Freedom Park, Lagos Island, ‘Adorn’ exhibition as it was titled held a formal display of remarkable artworks, painting on canvas, while the other side of the room was filled with mannequins showcasing elegant dresses from Finicky stitches collection. It is evident that fashion and art have a connection that cannot be denied but there is always something to learn when stakeholders in this sector are allowed to state their purpose.
The CEO of Finicky stitches, Jevbe Obiomah Utho, explained that there is big synergy between art and fashion that cannot be ignored and this is why collaborating with Enifo’s brilliant art pieces, who happens to be her niece came as a good idea to showcase their talents and create business opportunity. “There is a great connection between art and fashion. Art talks about lines, shapes, colours, creativity, same thing with fashion. For you to make a dress, you have to sketch the design first. You have to be creative to come up with a design that is beautiful. That is art as well. Art and fashion are intertwined.
The same creativity and craziness that runs in an artist’s mind is the same that runs in a fashion designers mind, she said. Explaining how the title ‘Adorn’ exhibition was chosen for the show, Enifo Agodo who hails from Delta State said that she discovered different people have different perception and meaning of the word ‘Adorn’. “We chose the title ‘Adorn’ because it means different things to different people. I did my own survey and found out that some said the word or describes means their struggles and their pain and who they are as a person now, others say it has a lot to do with their work while some said it about what you wear and how you look.
I and Finicky stitches chose ‘Adorn’ for the exhibition to creat a body of work that encapsulates all.” Speaking about her talent in art grew, Enifo whose father is from Isoko, mother from Uroboh both in Delta state explained that she grew up an uncle that is a sculptor, who taught her the basics of painting and drawing. Though Enifo is a professional artist, she studied art as a minor course while in school studying media and communications. Some of her artworks like naked series and legal series were on display. “Some people cannot look at themselves in the mirror because when they look, they are remembering all the mean things people have said about their body.
This naked series is to encourage women to imagine their own body, be confident in their own body and embrace themselves,” she said. Most of the Finicky stitches collection on display were basically from their ready-to-wear line. Jevbe Obiomah Utho stated that even though her fashion brand is known for bespoke wears for a long time, the time to completely focus on ready-to-wear has come,”Because that is where we can grow as designers.” Considering the challenges picking ready-to-wear clothes off the wrack in fashion shops in Nigeria is, Obiomah Utho, is optimistic that Nigerian market is ready for ready-to-wear collection. Explaining some of the challenges buying ready-to-wear clothes she said, “Everything Nigeria is expensive because our cost of production is too high. The lack of electricity is killing businesses.
Prize of diesel jumped from N200, not to N250 or N300 but to N650. That is outrageous. It is so unfortunate but that, added to other government policies makes Nigerian products very expensive. “I have been a fashion designer for so long. I have taken time to study Nigerian sizes. I styled my sizes after the British sizes. I noticed that Nigerian women are a bit bigger on the hip side.
“I believe we the designers are ready, it depends on if the consumers are ready. From the time I started my fashion designing career. I have always put the tag, ‘Finicky Stitches, Made In Nigeria’. People told me to remove it but I refused.
I believe we are supposed to lay a good foundation for others coming behind us. In the past 20 to 25 years, Nigerian fashion industry has blossomed to a certain level.” She also predicted that in the next 20 years, Nigerian fashion industry will witness fashion stores with clothes that made by bulk sewing factories in Nigeria. “We are going to grow to another level where we will have fashion outlets like ShopRite all over Nigeria and Africa. People may not be ready but we will make them ready,” she said.